Shrinking lung cancer tumor prompts call for more research on CBD

A unique lung cancer case has prompted a call for additional research into the popular cannabinoid CBD as a potential cancer treatment, according to a newly published report in BMJ Case Reports. Though more research is needed, CBD has grown in popularity as a medicinal compound, with user reports claiming effects like reduced inflammation, a decrease in pain, improvements in some mental health symptoms, and similar.

The case involved a female patient who was in her 80s; she smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a week and was diagnosed with multiple health conditions, including COPD and high blood pressure. This patient was likewise diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, which was described as a 41mm malignant tumor that hadn't spread.

The unnamed patient refused conventional treatment for the cancerous tumor, instead getting regular healthcare monitoring and CT scans once every quarter or half-year. The tumor was diagnosed in summer 2018 and, the researchers note, this kind of cancer typically only has around a half-year survival rate without treatment.

Despite her lack of treatment, the patient lived beyond the average survival timeframe and, as of February 2021, it was noted that her tumor had decreased in size to 10mm, a 76-percent decrease. The patient had been contacted in 2019, when she revealed that she had started taking CBD oil with a dosage of approximately 0.5ml two or three times a day.

The product's breakdown, based on details from the supplier, indicated the oil contained 19.5-percent THC, 20-percent CBD, and 24-percent THCA. Of note, the patient continued to smoke during this period of time despite the lung cancer diagnosis and didn't experience any lifestyle or prescription changes.

The report mentions one other "similar" case, but ultimately the researchers caution that there are still many unknown factors at play and that it can't be said at this point whether the benefit can be attributed to the CBD. Additional research, however, may help shed light on cannabinoids' effect on cancer, including finer details like how it should be administered, what dosages are safe, and similar.